Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Ending on a Great Note

 So, things at Shelley Hill Farm are moving right along.  We had our first chicken butchering day on Tuesday.  We rented the Featherman plucker, pictured below, from to make the process oh so very much easier.  Whoever designed this was a genius, I think.  You hook water up to the hose that you see running around the top rim which then squirts out from small holes in the hose at various angles and the bottom of the tub with fingers spins so the scalded chickens then bounce around and all the feathers get removed and flushed out an opening on the bottom with water.  Very, very slick!

These are the chickens soaking in cold water (which we did overnight to relax the muscles so they are not tough).  We labeled them so we could decide which were better.  The ones in the right two stainless steel pots are the free roosters we picked up about a week ago.  There were some "banty" roosters and some regular size.  Wouldn't do bantys again as they are hard to get your hand into to get all the innards out of, but we got it done.  Also, the pot on the left is the three Delaware roosters we hatched out.  I think they are the nicest looking ones, "like normal chicken at the store" if you will, so we will see how they taste when we get to cooking them.  They are all labeled and in the freezer now!

Below is the operation set up.  On the left were the cones to put the chickens through head first to dispatch of them, then on the right they went into the scalding tank and then into the Featherman plucker in the middle then onto a table not in the picture to remove the innards.

Below are the first two roma tomatoes out the garden.  We have about a handful more now, but not sure how many more will ripen before it's not so sunny anymore.  

And, tada, Mom and Ray's house arrived yesterday.  Below is one half coming up our driveway.  They move this with a remote controlled tractor.  Pretty amazing I think.

You can barely see the tractor below on the left end of the house.

And this would be the other half with their porch on it.  The guy running the remote control for the tractor is standing on the left.

And this is how it sits now.  They are not going to be here working on it today, but will be back tomorrow.  Will keep you updated on the progress.

And, we got more pigs.  Below are the four pigs we are raising for meat.  Two males and two females just to see if they are any different to raise/grow.  All have different markings so we can tell them apart.  Rob and I got two, Mom, Aylia, and Alex are splitting one, and Alex's dad purchased the other.  They promptly dug up the ground behind their house and went to sleep after we got them home.  Of course, this was after the fiasco with the electric fence.  We brought them home and put them inside the fence, which of course (though we did not know it) was not working, so they walked right through to go out and right through to go back in.  Needless to say Rob was just a little (said very sarcastically) frustrated as it took about an hour to figure out where the short was.  Anyway, they have all realized that when you touch your nose on the wire, it hurts, so they stay away now.  

This guy was hysterical.  We put the water tub in a tire so they can't flip it over and he proceeded to drink, then put his front feet in, 

Then his entire head in

and then literally tried to fit his whole body into that little water tub.  At one point, he had his head and front feet in the water and walked around in a circle with his back feet on the tire.

Below are two videos of the pigs being pigs.  I have dubbed them the pig pack.

And more piggies.

And an update on the two turkey chicks.

All else is going well.  Kara and Liam are enjoying school (well you know what I mean hahaha).  Kara finished her driver's ed course and passed with flying colors, got 100% on the written test (which counts as the written for her driver's license so she only has to do the drive test to get her license) and 84 on the driving test.  She pretty much chauffeurs us everywhere now.  It's pretty nice actually.  Liam is doing well with baseball.  Has four games every weekend, two with Stanwood/Camano fall ball and two with Seattle Stars fall ball.  They win some and lose some.  He is pretty much playing all positions.  

Rob is getting all geared/psyched up for hunting with Liam starting the this next month.  Hopefully they can each get a deer this year and perhaps an elk, as Rob goes elk hunting following the time he is gone deer hunting with Liam.  

Back out to the garden as I need to pick some sugar pumpkins and see if there are anymore ripe tomatoes!  Later!

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